Pholiota, for lack of anything else

Pholiota squarrosoides

Last week I found a cluster of these striking mushrooms on a fallen alder just steps from my studio.  I took this image four years ago when the tree was still standing and the mushrooms more photogenic.  I’m not bothering to make a dyepot with these this year—they cook up into a thick stew that requires serious straining, and once when I left them a bit before cooking, the strained bits included many little white maggoty things—but because I’m still waiting to find that amazing flush of exciting dyers this year, I thought I’d post these Pholiota squarrosoides samples from 2014 and 2015—a pleasant gold—should any of you be curious enough to give them a try. (The four sample strands on the card, from top to bottom and ignoring the knot at the top: no mordant, copper, iron, alum.)

Pholiota samples

Mind you, I have nothing against pleasant gold, but an over-abundance of Phaeolus schweinitzii, now drying on my studio floor, promises more gold this year than I really care to think about just now.

(Am I sounding a touch disappointed?)

9 thoughts on “Pholiota, for lack of anything else”

  1. I too have an abundance of Phaeolus. Also found a small amount of Hyphaloma, enough for a dyed silk hanky to spin. But it too did yellow. Mind you, I’ve gotten caramel brown with copper and Phaeolus and olive green with iron and Phaeolus. This year I’m going to try tin, and also I have a young one.

    1. Yes, you can get some nice browns and greens with Phaeolus. Apart from that good old reliable, the mushrooms seem to have decided this is a fallow year. Oh well, just as with gardening . . . there’s always next year to look forward to!

      1. This isn’t as exciting as finding your own, but I can send you a beautiful, many-tiered Phaeolus that I found yesterday. I’ll trade for something: any natural dyestuff (for eco-printing), fibre, etc.

      2. I know they grow here, I just never find them. I’m after the green from phaeolus. Let me think of something I can trade. I have lots of osage orange wood shavings. I make soap. And I have lots of green tea, to use as either a dye, or I have read that it can be used as a mordant. You would have to dry the mushroom before mailing, I assume.

      3. I’d be happy to trade it for some green tea. I make kombucha, so green tea is always appreciated! Yes, I’d have to dry the mushroom first, but the edges were still yellow when I found it, so the colour should be good.

  2. I’ve just done my first ever mushroom dyeing. After wondering if I could dye with mushrooms I found your site, then bought your book (I await its arrival but it may be sitting in my husband’s office as I had it addressed there and he’s gone off to Turkey) then I went out and walked straight into a crowd of oyster mushrooms. I dyed an assortment of silks with them. I’ve just posted a blog. Then I found another crowd of a different type of mushroom this afternoon and will be picking some tomorrow morning. 🙂

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